Monday, May 31, 2010

Hankering for Hostas

This handsome fellow is the 2007 Hosta of the Year, 'Paradigm'. He's fast-growing, slug-resistant, sun-tolerant, seersuckered, and huge. A good doer. He lives by the gate to my shade garden and has grown so big in 3 years that next spring I'll have to move him back a couple of feet so I can access the garden. He's also crowding out hosta 'Christmas Pageant', another beautiful plant, but totally overshadowed by Mr. Paradigm at this point.

I'm fortunate to know the names of these cultivars....I'm not terribly good at labeling, though every year or so I get an attack of conscience and then purchase yet more and fancier labels which I don't use. C'est la vie. Now my ever-growing hosta collection is setting seed and producing some babies, confusing things immensely. I do have to label those, so one doesn't get mixed up with the cultivars. Most of the young 'uns are nondescript, but I could use them to fill in spaces....

I see no end to my hosta wishlist. Lately I lust for 'Mighty Mouse' and 'Liberty'. 'Marmelade' sounds delicious, and I must have 'Dream Queen'. I favor the large, variegated cultivars, but the itty-bitty ones like 'Pandora's Box' and 'Blue Mouse Ears' are charming, too. Every year Paul Young and I travel to Granby, CT, to John O'Brien's hosta nursery, ( ) and every year I bring home yet more lovely cultivars. I seem to have decent growing conditions for hosta in most of my gardens. Lots of compost helps, and regular applications of my homemade deer repellent.
Change is a-coming, however. In my main front garden, the European white birches (which I didn't plant) are in decline. When they go, the whole front yard will be sunny, necessitating a re-do of much gardening space.
But isn't that what gardening is all about; the permanance of change?

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